ALPINE SKIING Preview: World Cup Final on this week in Andorra, with five Globes on the line

The FIS Crystal Globe

The biggest prizes of the Alpine World Cup season – the overall World Cup winners – have been decided, but there are still considerable prizes at stake in the World Cup Final this week in Soldeu (AND). Eight events will be held along this schedule (weather permitting):

13 March: Men’s and Women’s Downhill
14 March: Men’s and Women’s Super-G
15 March: Alpine Team Event
16 March: Men’s Giant Slalom and Women’s Slalom
17 March: Men’s Slalom and Women’s Giant Slalom

In terms of the titles available for the men, Austria’s amazing Marcel Hirscher has wrapped up the overall title – his eighth straight – and the Giant Slalom and Slalom titles (six each of those for him now). But the Downhill and Super-G races are yet to be decided:

Men’s Downhill:
1. 500 Beat Feuz (SUI) ~ Defending champion
2. 420 Dominik Paris (ITA)
3. 294 Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT)

Men’s Super-G:
1. 330 Dominik Paris (ITA)
2. 286 Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT)
3. 267 Aleksandr Aamodt Kilde (NOR)
4. 266 Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) ~ Defending champion
5. 255 Matthias Mayer (AUT)
6. 244 Mauro Caviezel (SUI)

Feuz has been working his way back to the top during the last half of the season and might be able to repeat as Downhill champion. He and Paris are the only contenders for the seasonal title; Paris has never won one.

If he doesn’t get the Downhill globe, Paris could still win the Super-G title, and if he finishes third or higher, no one can beat him. But there are six in mathematical contention.

In the women’s racing, American superstar Mikaela Shiffrin has clinched the overall title and the Slalom. But the season globes for the Downhill, Super-G and Giant Slalom are still in doubt:

Women’s Downhill:
1. 444 Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT)
2. 354 Ramona Siebenhofer (AUT)
3. 343 Ilka Stuhec (SLO)

Women’s Super-G:
1. 300 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
2. 268 Tina Weirather (LIE) ~ Defending champion
3. 253 Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT)
4. 247 Ragnhild Mowinckel (NOR)

Women’s Giant Slalom:
1. 515 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
2. 418 Petra Vlhova (SVK)
3. 410 Tessa Worley (FRA)

Shiffrin expects to compete in the Super-G and Giant Slalom and win two more trophies. She’s almost a shoo-in for the Giant Slalom, needing only four points to clinch the title; that’s a 27th-place finish.

In the Super-G, Shiffrin can secure the seasonal crown by finishing first or second, but lower if Weirather – the defending World Cup champ – doesn’t win.

Schmidhofer only needs to finish 20th or higher to take the Downhill crown, which would be her first seasonal title.

It’s also worthwhile to note that any race that Shiffrin wins will extend her remarkable record of 15 World Cup race wins in a season.

“I’m still feeling good, I’m feeling motivated; there’s a little bit of energy left in the tank, and I’m enjoying these last races,” Shiffrin said. “It’s beautiful here in Andorra, the training today was perfect – the surface is surprisingly amazing for this time of year – so I’m really looking forward to this final push.”

NBC’s Olympic Channel has coverage of the World Cup Final starting on Wednesday; click here for details. Look for results here.

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